Before Prison

Remembering Who I Am

I had the most amazing visit with two of my sisters, and my oldest daughter Shelby last weekend. My sisters and I are each 18 months apart and we were a wild bunch. Probably because we grew up in the country playing hard, and our parents are just a tad bit eccentric (in a good way:) You wouldn’t believe the Christmas parties the Wilcox’s have when we all get together! It wasn’t long ago that my dad did a front handspring at a talent show during a Christmas party shortly after he had a kidney transplant. When we’re all together the energy is a sight to behold! It’s been 2 and a half years since I last saw my sisters, and when I walked into visiting and saw them it was an emotional experience. They were so beautiful! Many of the women in visiting that night commented when we got back to the unit how beautiful they all were. Shelby was radiant as always. And Misty, Kira and I took turns laughing and telling each other all about the crazy things we encounter on a daily basis. It’s hard to describe what it was like to be with them. I told Chad a while back that I miss being around my “people” in Utah. He thought calling our neighbors my “people” was funny. I said: “Well they are my people! I love our community! I guess if the people in our community are my “people” having my sisters here was like being back with my, “tribe”.

 Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember who I am here. We all wear the same silly uniform, we eat the same food, and go to the same places every day, often at the same time. So being with the family I grew up with was like coming home. It was unbelievably amazing!

Shelby was as lovely as any young woman could be. She was probably a bit overpowered by us Wilcox girls; but she’s used to that:) She is so responsible! My sisters told me that Shelby planned the whole trip, and whenever things seemed chaotic or out of control they looked to her to get them back on track. That’s my girl:) When I got to visiting she asked if she could sit by me.  I think that just being next to each other was exactly what we both needed. I mentioned to Shelby that I felt bad about some of the things the kids have had to go through because of me.  She responded,  “Mom, seriously, we love you so much! Even though you’re not home you’re still the center of our universe. Everyone loves you mom, our only concern is that when you get home so many people will want to spend time with you and we want you all to ourselves.”

Could I have any cooler kids? A while back Jace and Sarah took CJ shopping for a birthday present. After about 2 hours of looking through the mall CJ said, “Jace, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but would it be ok if you just gave me some money so I can save it? I want to get a plane ticket so I can go see mom.” She’s only 10! Jace sent me a message that day and said he was honored to have a sister as sweet as CJ is.

As the last day of visiting approached I prayed that the time we had left together would be meaningful. Sunday was a calmer visit for us, and my sister Misty commented that even though we had lived close to each other most of our lives, the time we spent together that weekend was more meaningful than any other time. Before they left I told my sisters that I love them, and was sorry for things I said and did when we were younger that were hurtful. Kira said, “I love you Portia, but there were some things that happened when we were younger that hurt me.” Kira told me one of the things I said to her when we were younger that was pretty awful. I was glad that we could talk about it, because some of the things I did to my family has weighed heavily on my heart. I said: “Kira, It was wrong what I said, I was jealous because you were doing the right things in your life, and I wasn’t, and I am truly sorry for that.” It was a sweet moment for us; we hugged, and left those things in the past. It was beautiful, and all the more beautiful because Shelby was there to share such a special moment. I am so grateful for the love and support of my family! Chad has been amazing, our children have been beyond amazing, and my sisters….Well my sisters are just the classiest ladies ever to set foot on the planet. I love you Kira, Misty and Shelby! Thank you for making such a difference in my life. Thank you for reminding me who I am this week.

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